Desertion and abandonment are emotions that we as humans all feel at some point within our lifetime. It’s hard to see where help can come from, and if you can ever escape the situation. Crafted by CocoCumber, Planet of the Eyes tries to transport all those human emotions into a stranded service robot, that has crash landed on a mysterious planet.
Not knowing your whereabouts and unable to locate any crew members, you head in pursuit of help and answers. Along the way there are audio logs that have been placed by a fellow survivor, that not only becomes the base of the games narration, but also provides more revelations about the lonely service robot. The story and the game itself is short but thought provoking. As you venture further through the planet, you actively start to seek the audio logs, wanting to continue the connection the fellow survivor has with the robot. Its as if you start to the feel the emotions the robot should be experiencing, always chasing after the fellow survivor, but constantly feeling like you’re one step behind. The narrations builds and builds until you reach the final climax, with the ending leaving you to ponder on what you have experienced. It was a game that I instantly wanted to replay, to see if I could find any hidden meaning or Easter eggs.
Planet of the Eyes clocks in at around 2 hours on my first play through, which is extremely short in game terms, however I feel that as a single experience, the price tag is justified. Planet of the Eyes is good for one run, maybe two if you haven’t found all of the easter eggs the first time round. However, if you went to see a movie at the cinema, it would cost around the same, which is significant in terms of value. The satisfaction I felt while playing corresponded with the same amount while watching a film. The pacing of the story is perfection, allowing enough time between logs to soak in the games atmosphere and combat the games platforming mechanics.
Once you have got your bearings and begun to explore the planet, the scenery is likely to consume you. Horizons glow with beautifully piercing colours, providing perfect contrast with the landscape you are traversing. Planet of the Eyes also excels at exploring the mood of each area of the planet. Diving into the depths of planets’ water caverns produces a palette of cold colours, providing the illusion of darkness, where the bright orange and red flames, applied with a blue cold backdrop, really gives that sense of heat and danger.
The game is fluid, however if there’s one area where Planet of The Eyes failed to impress me, it would be through the platforming itself. The game is described to have complex platforming mechanics, which is just not the case. Limbo and Inside, which are games that share similarities with Planet of the Eyes, both provided big puzzle set pieces. Planet of The Eyes doesn’t give those, instead there are moments where the action will speed up, trying to create a dangerous situation for our lonely robot, but ultimately it doesn’t become too strenuous. I feel complex platforming is one of the memorable factors about narrative platformers, but unfortunately Planet of the Eyes falls short in this department.